It’s such a heated debate whenever you talk to someone about WHICH Gili island you should go to. However, I’ve been to both and experienced them before and after the earthquake and even though I’m less of a party girl, I still prefer Gili T. The party scene has significantly decreased since the earthquake in my opinion and the island really came together and became this super cool community of business owners who work together. You can really feel it if you stay more than a few nights, it’s something I love about islands and it was really cool to experience on Gili T.
I stayed for a week and made a point to talk to as many people living on the island as possible so that I could make sure I recommended all of the best spots. For an island with no motorized vehicles, it definitely has more choices than you’d imagine for just about anything you could want!
COFFEE: Coffee & Thyme, The Banyan Tree, Kayu Cafe (get a frozen one!), or Bale Sampan (best wifi on the island)
BREAKFAST: Pesona Resort (grab a smoothie bowl at the pool), Kayu Cafe – highly recommend the bagel sandwiches, or La Creperie (little kiosk in the strip of shops)
HOTELS: For the sunset side, we love Gili Teak. The owners are amazing, the food and views are unbelievable, but it is a bike ride over to the bar area. If you’re looking for a relaxing spot, this is your best bet. To be in the mix, we’re obsessed with Pesona Resort. The staff are incredible, the rooms are super cute, the wifi is TOP notch, and they have a great dive shop on site. For our fancier friends, The Pearl or Villa Ombak are very nice honeymoon/romantic spots at a significantly higher price point.
SCUBA: Our number one shop recommendation is Dive Central Gili. The instructors and guides are extremely professional and knowledgeable, the pricing and discounts are super competitive, and the dive shop manager is a LEGEND on the island. If you’re staying down at the other end, we also love Blue Marine Dive.
One of my favorite things about Gili T and lots of our favorite islands is that each night of the week there is something fun to do where everyone on the island gets together. Whether it’s movie night on Mondays at Pesona, Tuesday night beer pong at Jungle, Live music at Sama Sama on Thursday, or Rock n’ Roll bingo on Fridays at Lava – there’s always something to do and always someone to do it with.
For daytime activities, if you aren’t scuba diving, we recommend renting some snorkeling gear and heading down to turtle point. The turtles are just hanging out about 10 feet from the shore. You can relax on the beach with a cold coconut and jump in and out of the water as much as you want. We also decided to do a bike ride around the island, which takes approximately 30 minutes if you don’t stop and shop along the way. However, we do recommend stopping. There are tons of cute shops filled with dresses, jewelry, bags, and all sorts of handicrafts.
If you’re heading to the Gilis and need more info or help planning a trip, reach out to us at [email protected] We’ve been all over Bali and can help with whatever you need. We hope you enjoyed our best of Gili Trawagan!